Coolio Catalog Surges 264% in Streams, ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ Returns to Charts After Rapper’s Death

Fans rallied to the late Coolio’s music catalog and sent it surging 264.3% in the wake after his death. The rapper, born Artis Ivey, Jr. died Sept. 28 at age 59 due to suspected cardiac arrest. His most popular hit – “Gangsta’s Paradise,” featuring L.V. – led the way in both streams and sales, and the former Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 returns to the charts this week.

Coolio’s songs (on which he was the lead performer) registered 19.6 million U.S. on-demand streams in the week of Sept. 28 – Oct. 4, according to preliminary reports to Luminate, a 264.3% increase compared with the 5.4 million generated in prior seven days. (Note: the streaming totals here combine both official and non-official, user-generated content; the latter does not contribute to the Billboard charts).

As mentioned above, “Gangsta’s Paradise” received the most attention, with 14.8 million streams in the Sept. 28 – Oct. 4 window, up 195%. The track, from the soundtrack to the film Dangerous Minds, was easily Coolio’s biggest hit: It topped the Hot 100 for seven weeks in 1995 and won a Billboard Music Award for single of the year. The collaboration also ranks in the top 100 of Billboard’s Greatest of All Time Hot 100 Songs chart.

After “Paradise,” the rapper’s breakthrough hit, the No. 3-peaking “Fantastic Voyage,” ranks second in the stream count, with 1.6 million clicks (up 809%). 1997’s “C U When U Get There,” featuring 40 Thevz, comes in third (555,000; up 2,814%), with “1, 2, 3, 4 (Sumpin New)” in fourth (471,000; up 1,361%) and “Too Hot” rounding out the top five (178,000; up 2,445%).

In addition to “Gangsta’s Paradise,” its parody performed by Weird Al Yankovic, “Amish Paradise,” also improved to 622,000 on-demand U.S. streams, up 104%.

6.5 million official “Paradise” streams occurred in the latest Billboard chart tracking week of Sept. 23 – 29. Those streams, along with 12,000 downloads of the former chart-topper, spark its No. 16 re-entry on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and No. 11 return to Hot Rap Songs. As on the Hot 100, “Paradise” spent time in the upper reaches of both lists– climbing to a No. 2 peak on the former and ruling the latter for 11 frames.

The late rapper’s signature hit also surged on both of Billboard’s global surveys, the Billboard Global 200 and Global 200 Excl. U.S. It rallies 145-59 on the former and earns the weekly Greatest Gainer honor in the process, while a 151-57 jump occurs on the latter. The tune has shown enduring popularity on both lists, which launched in 2020, having now charted for 63 and 73 weeks, respectively.

Trevor Anderson